81st Medical Group welcomes new commander

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Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Douglas J. Robb assumed command of the 81st Medical Group July 18 in Keesler AFB's Welch Theatre. Brig. Gen. Paul Capasso, 81st Training Wing commander, was the presiding officer.  A reception was held at Keesler Medical Center immediately following the ceremony. 

As commander, the general is responsible for the direct delivery of health care by the largest medical group in the Air Force to more than 27,000 enrolled patients among almost 48,000 eligible people in Keesler Medical Center's catchment area and coordinates care for more than 79,000 beneficiaries along the Gulf Coast. He ensures the availability of major war and peacetime medical readiness response forces. Additional responsibilities include direction of nine graduate medical education programs and an extensive clinical research program. He leads more than 1,860 health-care professionals and manages a local budget of more than $75.5 million. In addition, General Robb is the federal coordinator for the Gulf Coast National Disaster Medical System. 

Prior to his current assignment, General Robb was U.S. Central Command command surgeon at MacDill AFB, Fla. In that position, which he assumed in June 2004, he was responsible for all joint and coalition health service support activities in the USCENTCOM Theater of War consisting of 27 nations on the Arabian Peninsula, the Horn of Africa, Northern Red Sea and Central Asia. 

The general, a 1979 U.S. Air Force Academy graduate, has spent 20 years in the practice of aerospace medicine in support of Air Force, Joint and Coalition aviation forces. Clinically he has held the positions of chief of flight medicine, aerospace medicine squadron commander and hospital commander. Additionally, he has held a staff position as the chief flight surgeon for U.S Air Forces in Europe. A chief flight surgeon with more than 1,500 flying hours, he has maintained additional crew member status in the A-7, OV-10, F-16, C-9, T-43, C-130 and KC-135 aircraft.